Open Learning Talks: MOOC Engagement During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Nov. 9, 2021 | MIT J-WEL

Open Learning Talks: MOOC Engagement During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Nov. 9, 2021


Open Learning Talks: MOOC Engagement During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Date and Time
Nov. 9, 2021, online
3:00 p.m. EST

Learn more on the event page. 


In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, online learning surged as never before. MITx courses saw enrollment numbers double and more over previous course runs. The MITx MOOC, 7.00x, Introduction to Biology, saw a particular spike in interest as learners all over the world—locked down at home, and facing new fears and uncertainties—sought a better understanding of the science of life. But did increased enrollment result in greater engagement, higher completion rates, or greater learning?

Mary Ellen Wiltrout, a Digital Learning Lab scientist and Director of Online and Blended Learning Initiatives and Lecturer in MIT’s department of biology, advised three MSRP students to interrogate this question as a part of the uniquely remote 2020 MSRP Biology program. Working with BSG-MSRP-Bio Fellow Katie Blackwell, they evaluated data for 7.00x over several course runs, aiming to better understand engagement, participation, and learner demographics from the course before and during the pandemic. Their resulting paper was published in the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit (EMOOCs 2021) conference proceedings.

In this talk, Wiltrout and Blackwell will share their research findings and insights with biology professor Tania Baker. They’ll discuss different types of learner engagement in MOOCs, and what lessons instructors and course designers can take away from online learning during the pandemic.

This event is free and open to the public.

Open Learning Talks bring together leaders in learning to discuss new research-based ideas, technologies, and efforts in education, at MIT and around the world. See past and upcoming events in this series.


Date & Time: 
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 15:00

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